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GOP tax bill scores against pro sports stadiums

The House GOP tax bill unveiled on Thursday would eliminate a tax break that has been regularly used to help finance the construction of new stadiums for professional sports teams.

Bottom line: This new language means that more pro team owners would need to pony up for their own facilities, as it would be much harder to convince state and municipal lawmakers to approve bond packages that are no longer tax exempt. Since 2000, there have been around $13 billion worth of tax-exempt bonds issued for stadium construction.

The new language removes tax exemption for any bonds whose proceeds are used to finance capital expenditures for any facility that is used for pro sports games, training or exhibitions at least five days in a calendar year. This is in keeping with the spirit of the authors of the last major tax reform in 1986, although their actual language created the loophole that today's tax-writers are seeking to close.

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